This is a little festival circuit gem I came across via a Myspace bulletin. I was glad to check it out and I was thrilled when the short film was in the run for winning a Con-Can Film Festival Japan award. I'm a big indie fan and happily watched when IFC and Sundance first premiered with some very innovative films. It's not the same as it was back when the channels were in their infancy so I missed out on a lot of good indies. Thankfully there's networking all across the net!
Akira's Hip Hop Shop stars James Kyson Lee of Heroes fame and Emayatzy Corinealdi of the Young and the Restless fame at the heart of this short film. Akira is a Japanese man hardcore into hip hop and the owner of a music store of the same title. One day in comes a young woman named Daphne who strolls into his store shopping and inquiring if he's hiring. She's looking for a part time job while she finishes her degree in Culinary Arts - Major in Japanese cuisine.
Needless to say both Daphne and Akira hit it off right off the bat but soon are faced with the usual issues of an interracial relationship, the stares from stranges, the stereotypical questions from their friends, etc. And things become even more complicated when a childhood friend at home, one that Akira's mother has been calling his "future wife" comes for a visit...
The story may seem 'meh' from me describing it here but the characters and the heart of the story make this a very charming movie. Based on previous news, the director Joe Doughrity has written a feature length version of the script and is hoping to get that version of the ground this year. There aren't many romantic movies featuring an African-American heroine and an Asian Hero and I would love to see many more where this came from. I'll be keeping an ear to the ground to see if and when this comes about because I'm up to see that version. At its current time frame, the movie tells a coherent and sweet love story that will surely lift provide many viewers with a wonderful HEA.
Akira's Hip-Hop Shop is available now on DVD.
Learn more about the movie at:
The Official Website
The Myspace Page
Stars Emayatzy Corinealdi & James Kyson Lee